AUSSIE ACE ARGENT CROWNED ROOKIE WORLD CHAMPION IN THRILLING FINISH
On the 27 May 2022, our Australian Jack Argent smashed the Springboard world record to beat Switzerland’s Oliver Reinhard to the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Rookie World Championship title in a nail-biting duel, with 16-year-old sensation Szymon Groenwald finishing third.
Argent and Reinhard finished level on points after the five disciplines, but the Australian claimed the title having accumulated the faster time throughout the event. Reinhard broke the Single Buck world record en route to a second-place finish while Poland’s Groenwald edged out New Zealander Cleveland Cherry to claim the final podium place.
The Rookie World Championship saw the best young talent in the world of TIMBERSPORTS® compete in a new and improved format. This year’s competition featured the introduction of the Springboard discipline and marked the first time the round format was applied at the Rookie World Championship. More than 3,000 spectators watched the high-octane axe-tion in person at the stunning Rathausplatz, in Vienna, Austria.
Top Chopper Cherry Opens Title Bid with Back-to-Back Personal Bests
New Zealand’s Cleveland Cherry laid down his marker in the first two disciplines setting personal bests in the Underhand Chop and the Stock Saw to lead the standings. Pre-tournament favourite Argent also opened the competition in fine fashion trailing Cherry by four points alongside the experienced Reinhard after round one.
In round two, Groenwald sawed into contention in the Standing Block Chop with a new world record in 11.90 seconds. The records continued to tumble with Sweden’s Edvin Karlsson setting a world record time of 10.78 seconds in the Single Buck, before Reinhard produced a jaw-dropping 10:36 moments later to reclaim the overall lead heading into the final discipline.
Argent Breaks World Record to Complete Stunning Comeback
After finishing fourth in the Standing Block Chop and sixth in Single Buck, Argent trailed Reinhard by six points. But the Australian bounced back in emphatic fashion breaking the Springboard world record to draw level with the Swiss athlete, who could only manage third place in the new Rookie discipline. With the scores tied, the overall time from all rounds was taken, handing Argent the title of Rookie World Champion by just nine seconds over Reinhard. Groenwald finished runner-up in the final round to leapfrog Cherry into third.
Jack Argent, newly crowned Rookie World Champion, said: “It sounds amazing, I didn’t think it was going to happen. I knew I was good enough but you never know what can happen in wood chopping. I thought I was out of it but I pulled out a good Springboard in the end.”
“The Springboard is a new discipline this year so none of us have had that much competition practice. I knew I had it in me, but I am just glad I came through.” Oliver Reinhard, speaking after finishing second, said: “In one word. Beautiful. I had my highs and my lows. In the end it worked out with the second place, and I am absolutely delighted.”
Szymon Groenwald, who finished third on the podium, added: “I feel pretty good, it has been a wonderful day here in Vienna. The new format was exciting and it’s great for the Rookies to be able to do the Springboard.”
Catch up on STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® with Australian TV Episodes on 7MATE: STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Australia airs every Saturday at 12:30pm (AEST). The TV series follows the Australian athletes as they compete on home soil and across the globe each year. Episodes following the 2022 series will air late June 2022. All past seasons can be viewed at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Australia YouTube page.